This interesting surname, occurring in one form or another in nearly every county of Scotland, is of scottish locational origin from "Cupar" in Fife, which is probably of Pictish origin, with an unknown meaning. The earliest recording of the name in Scotland is in 1245, when Dominus Salomone de Cupir appears as a charter witness, in the Liber Cartarum Prioratus Sancti Andree in Scotia. In some instances the name may also have derived from the Medieval English "couper", a maker or repairer of wooden casks, buckers or tubs (according to the Medieval English Dictionary, circa 1400). The surname from this source was first recorded in the late 12th Century, (see below). One Selide le Copere, le Cupere was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1181. Walter Couper was mentioned in 1391 in the Calendar of Letter Books of London. In Aberdeen, John Cupar held lands in 1281. Robert Couper (1750-1818) an author, was a student at Glasgow, 1769, a tutor in Virginia and published "poetry, chiefly in the Scottish language", 1804. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert (le) Cupere, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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